high protein for breakfast
Diets,  Nutrition,  Weight Loss

Jump Start Your Day With High Protein Breakfast Foods

A breakfast with enough protein helps satisfy your appetite, eat healthier all day and helps you lose weight.

With protein-packed breakfast helps maximize the ability of your brain to send messages to the rest of the body which helps keep you awake. When you combine protein with carbs, your body will slowly digest your breakfast, preventing hunger, and keeping you energized up until lunch. But consuming more protein than what your body needs and can use will be unhelpful. This is because your body stores excess protein as fat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to keep a diet with 10% to 35% of the calories that you eat from protein to benefit from it. This is especially if you add plenty of protein in the morning.

Protein and Your Alertness

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Protein, especially in the morning,  gives you the amino acids that your brain requires to perform at its optimal degree. Franklin Institute explains that a high-carbohydrate meal boosts the tryptophan levels of your brain, producing serotonin that makes you feel relaxed and it makes a good option for dinner. On the other hand, a morning meal which is high in protein increases the tyrosine levels of your brain. This helps the brain’s ability to produce neurotransmitters known as norepinephrine and dopamine, giving you energy and making you feel alert and awake.

Protein and You Satiety

image: Medical News Today

The University of Missouri researchers applied MRI scans to compare the activity of the brain of teens who consumed high-protein breakfast with teens who either skipped breakfast or consumed breakfast that is moderate in protein. Before lunch, those who skipped breakfast were the hungriest, but MRI scan results showed that those who consumed high-protein breakfast less brain activity in areas that regulate food motivation that having breakfast with protein that helps you stay fuller for longer time compared to having breakfast with low protein.

Amino Acids From Protein

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Two essential amino acids are produced from protein: glutamate and aspartate that serve as brain neurotransmitters. Aside from these two amino acids, it also provides tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine that produce the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.

For example, if you eat fish, meat, eggs, or poultry during breakfast, your brain will have all of the neurotransmitters that it requires to help your whole body function properly. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said that  butter alone may give you some of the amino acids that you need, however, consuming wheat toast with peanut butter will provide you all of them. 

Protein with Complex Carbohydrates

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The University of Cincinnati-College of Nursing said that whenever you eat a meal, your body uses carbohydrates first. If you consume simple carbs like donuts, sugary cereal, and pastries, your body will use the carbs fast. But if you have complex carbs from veggies, fruits, whole grain bread and cereals, your body will take longer to metabolize the carbs. When this is done, it starts to use the protein. Combining your proteins with complex carbs will help you remain satisfied up until lunch, decreasing your urge to crave “between-meal” snacks.

Check your morning meal.

It may not have sufficient protein. A research that was published in the International Journal of Obesity, the research participants who consumed a protein-loaded breakfast ate 26% fewer calories during lunch compared to those who consumed meal of the same calories with less protein. Those nutrients help your stomach release peptide YY, a hormone that  sends message your brain to say you’re full. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein for women beyond the age of 19 need 46 grams; men need 56 grams.

Useful Tips on Taking Protein For Breakfast

What’s Good:

  • Eggs are traditional great choices for breakfast because they are rich in protein and nutrient-dense with essential nutrients such as omega-3. Always get the cage-free and organic healthy way of preparing eggs: poached and hard or soft-boiled over those easy or baked. Pair eggs with fresh fruits or steamed spinach to get the best benefits.
  • Milk is a breakfast favorite. Add a drop of milk to your coffee to a cup of your cereal. Choose fat-free, 1-2% or non-dairy milk such as almond milk for best on-the-go. Other options to get your dairy and calcium requirements are by taking cheeses and yogurt. Top them with fresh fruits, healthy granola, nuts or seeds, or even cereals for a great option to begin your day.
  • Cereals are good choices for breakfast but it will depend a lot on the ingredients. Opt for whole grains with 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving, giving you a total carbs to sugar ratio of not less than 4:1 (24 grams carb: 6 grams sugar), 25% of the RDA for folic acid, iron, zinc, and other B vitamins.
  • Oatmeal is a wholesome way to jumpstart your day. This whole grain choice provides you with high soluble fiber that may help lower your cholesterol level, increase your immune response, and neutralize blood sugar to prevent sugar spike followed by a midday crash. Get an oatmeal with a minimum of 3 grams of fiber . Opt for rolled oats.

What’s Bad:

  • Cereal can become bad. Most cereals are loaded with sugar, trans-fat and with more food coloring. Avoid fruity cereals, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, dyes, and chemical-preservatives.
  • Juices, especially if you are trying to lose some weight. Most juices are loaded with sugar that leaves you more thirstier and hungrier, making you grab for that midday crash that you are trying to avoid. Unless you squeeze a fresh fruit with pulp giving you only 8 oz or less. Experts recommend avoiding this juices but choose to all green juice options. This is a better alternative. 

When you are too busy, here’s some on-the-go for breakfast:

  • Fruit, such as an apple or banana with one butter packet
  • 6-oz. Greek yogurt with berries or bananas
  • Ready-to-Eat organic steel-cut/rolled oatmeal
  • Two fiber crackers with one packet of coconut butter or nuts.

Some Precautions from USDA

A protein-rich diet may also be a high- cholesterol and fat that can result to weight gain and cardiovascular issues. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 1 egg has about 190 milligrams of cholesterol, and therefore, a two-egg omelet will exceed the recommendation of National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of consuming less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol every day. Reduce your egg intake to only 4 eggs every week or eat only the egg whites.

USDA said that 4-slice of pan-fried bacon will give you 12.12 grams of protein and 12.73 grams of fat. They explain that every gram of protein gives 4 calories and every gram of fat has 9 calories. This equation gives you about 50 calories from protein and about 115 calories from fat. Therefore, avoid fried foods, high-fat meats (pork sausage, bacon, beef) and opt for lower-fat foods (chicken, turkey, whole grains, beans, and nuts).

What’s for breakfast?

A high-protein breakfast gives you plenty health benefits and helps your weight loss goals. But it is also important to choose high-protein alternatives with less excess fats. High-protein sources such as red meat and full-fat cheese can be very high in saturated fats that can outweigh the benefits of satiety for the whole day.

What’s better? Go for lean protein options such as egg whites, lean ground beef, low-fat yogurt, and skim milk. Lean protein food choices gives benefits of a high-protein breakfast with less effects like weight gain or increased cholesterol level.

Knowing all of this information about protein-rich breakfast, now it’s your turn to choose.

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